Ghana, UK launch Complementary Basic Education programme

The Government with support from the United Kingdom has launched an innovative education programme to enable Ghana meet its goal of attaining universal primary education.

Complementary Basic Education (CBE) is a ground-breaking and accelerated approach that teaches disadvantaged children how to read, write and become numerate in a nine-month period.

A joint statement issued by Mr Paul Kofi Krampa, Director Public Relations, Ministry of  Education (MOE), Nana Akua Agyemang-Badu, Communications Officer of CBE Management Unit, and Paul Barimah of the British High Commission, and copied to the Ghana News Agency said the CBE programme targets out-of-school children so that they could eventually enter primary school at class three or four.

It said the CBE programme, which could pave the way for Ghana to attain Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Two whose focus is on providing the opportunity for all children to access education, was launched at Kintampo in the Brong Ahafo Region.

“Enrolling all children in school has been a significant challenge for Ghana since independence,”  the statement said, adding that Government policies such as the abolition of school fees, introduction of the capitation grant and the provision of free school uniforms had helped to increase primary gross enrolment rates to above 90 per cent.

“It has not been possible to enrol the remaining 10 per cent of out-of-school children, who are typically from the poorest rural and hard to reach areas, and are often kept out of school due to farming and other household tasks,” it stated.

The statement said with the Government now adopting the CBE programme, which had been designed to accommodate children in such disadvantaged circumstances, the programme would be expanded across the country to reach the estimated half a million children who are still out of school.

It said the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service were receiving support from the UK Government through its Department for International Development (DFID) to implement the CBE programme to enrol 120,000 out-of-school children over the next three years (2012-2015).

“In year one, the programme will target 25,000 children, beginning in October, across four regions of the country: Upper East, Upper West, Northern, and Brong Ahafo. Therefore 1,000 CBE classes will be available across the 35 target districts,” it stated.

According to the statement, Sally Taylor, DFID Country Director said:  “UK’s development assistance in Ghana has a strong focus on education including achieving the MDG on universal access to basic education and gender equality.  I am therefore pleased to be involved in another important step towards ensuring that every Ghanaian child gets an opportunity to go to school and become the people they have the potential to be.”

It said the Ministry of Education found that at least 3 per cent increase in basic school enrolment across the country was due to the effectiveness of complementary basic education.

”The National CBE launch in Kintampo was attended by the Minister of Education Professor Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, the DFID Ghana Country Director Sally Taylor, other key Government officials, as well as international and local dignitaries,” the statement said.

Source: GNA

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